Coinneach: Introduction and Guidelines…

Gordon was a guest on BBC Scotland’s programme Coinneach on 01/07/05 on which the presenter was Derek MacAoidh. From these pages you can access an audio extract from the programme, supplemented with a transcription, English translation, and notes for learners.

This is an opportunity for Gaelic learners to listen to unscripted conversation at natural speed. As a listening exercise it will be best suited to those learners who already have a good grasp of the core grammar of Gaelic, and are looking to expand their vocabulary and train their ears to natural spoken language. The best thing is to listen to the soundfile first without looking at either the transcription or translation.

Visit to hear the extract.

You should replay repeatedly any parts you don’t follow at first listening, and only have recourse to the transcription when you’re sure you can’t pick up by ear what’s been said.

Between the soundfile and the transcription hopefully you will be able to understand a good part of the conversation. Should you have any difficulties, however, you can also refer to the translation into English.

It should be noted that, as a sample of “natural” speech, the extracts contain all the normal “performance errors” – pauses, hesitations, false starts, repetitions etc – that characterise everyday spoken language. This is emphatically not an idealised and prescripted text, and is not presented as a model for zealous imitation. The notes on performance offer a somewhat bloggish introspective commentary from a learner’s perspective on selected “highlights” (in red) from the transcription.

Finally, it should be noted that the transcription is of audio material which is copyright of BBC Scotland, and which must not be used without prior permission from the BBC. Permission to use it on this site is gratefully acknowledged.